Green is great, but strength is what stands the test of time. Turns out, when up against other timbers, bamboo shoots above and beyond.
Because of it's unique composition, bamboo is naturally designed for strength. Bamboo’s sectional anatomy, both as a cane and on a microscopic fiber level, enhances its structural integrity. Unlike wood, bamboo has no rays or knots, allowing it to withstand more stress throughout the length of each stalk. If properly installed and cared for, a bamboo floor can last for up to 30 years. As is true with hardwood flooring, refinishing periodically will help to reinvigorate the look of the material.
Bamboo is clocked as the fastest growing plant on Earth. Some species have been measured to grow over 4 feet in 24 hours. Bamboo can be continuously re-harvested every 3 years, without causing damage to the plant system and surrounding environment. Continuous harvesting of this woody grass every 3-7 years, actually improves the overall health of the plant. Bamboo is a natural material and in a landfill it will break down over time due to natural processes. Bamboo is able to generate 35% more oxygen than an equivalent planting of trees. Because of this, it is the most often used foliage in projects which seek to re-green degraded areas. It is also able to absorb greenhouse gasses.
The bottom line with bamboo is that you get what you pay for. Bamboo manufactured and offered at a low price point probably isn’t using environmentally friendly processes or ingredients, and you should be concerned about the emission of VOC’s with these products once installed. However, quality bamboo can be found from reputable manufacturers who voluntarily agree to abide by the highest standards of FSC and LEED. Go Green samples only recognized name brand manufacturers of quality bamboo products such as Teragren and Cali.